Join Date: Jan 2017
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Need Professional Help... (what to buy)
I am in the market for a "new to me" car. I have decided that car needs to be a Subaru Outback. However, trying to figure out which year to look for may have me in need of a different type of professional help. So, with getting conflicting information on my searches I thought I would ask the "Professionals" here. Below is a run-down of what I have been looking at.
I am looking for something under $9K. I would really like a sunroof as well so that limits the trim to at least the Limited version. I am also looking for fuel efficiency since I drive about 50 miles a day. For that reason I am looking at the 2.5i H4 models. I hear these engines last a long time so I am okay with higher mileage (<150K) but would plan to drive at least 150K - 200K before the next upgrade.
From looking around the internet, I thought the 2009 had solved the head gasket issue so I was focused on that model year. I have been staying away from anything new for cost reasons and that I didn't want to get into the early years of a CVT (though I like the fuel savings). I have since figured out that this isn't exactly true with the 2009 and they have the same EJ253 engine that is in everything from '03 to '09. However, thanks to this site I know know that the '09 is the end of a model run (Gen 3) which should make it a little more reliable.
Here is my debate: I have found a '09 with 135K miles on it for $8.5K - $9K. This is at the top of my range. There are also a few '05 models with around 130K miles around $5.5K - $6k which look well maintained. I was assuming that with 130K miles on an '05 I should probably expect to need a head gasket in the next year or two. I also assumed that with the '09 I would not. I am now thinking this is wrong and I have the same risk of needing a head gasket on both. What do you think?
Outside of creature features such as steering wheel controls and the like, are there other reliability / longevity reasons to spend the extra for the newer car? Do I gain $3K of benefits from a four year newer car? Oh, I guess the '09 do all come with VDC standard, which is nice. What else do I need to know? Also, is there a mid Gen 3 model year I should be looking at instead?
I really don't like car shopping and tend to drive my cars till they fall apart, or snuggle really close to a deer. I drove a '91 Saturn SL2 for almost 20 years with over 400K miles. I would love to do the same with this Outback.
Thanks you all for your wisdom, advice, recommendations, jokes or even snide comments. They are greatly appreciated.